Save Migrant Children From COVID-19

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The more than 5400 migrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents, and the thousands of others separated from grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings, are considered unaccompanied. Today, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) - a group within the Department of Health & Human Services - holds some 3,600 unaccompanied children in largely for-profit shelters. They are forced in these baby jails to do exactly what they are told. They sleep, eat, school, and move together through the facilities, escorted everywhere by company workers. They have to ask permission to do anything. They are virtual prisoners.

Just like in prisons, the COVID-19 pandemic poses an immediate and life-threatening danger to all of these children who live in congregant care and who are unable to social distance or wash their hands frequently. Once the disease hits a shelter, it will spread rapidly, overwhelming already scant medical capacity. Many children have died in government custody. More stand to perish from COVID-19.

THE CHILDREN MUST BE RELEASED NOW!

There is no plan to protect them. There is no plan that can protect them. Children MUST be reunited with their families immediately. Innocent children are being incarcerated in conditions that put their lives at risk. We must take action to free them NOW!

Although the Flores judge issued a ruling this week, she did not order the release of children other than what is currently called for under the agreement. She also found ORR is compliant with CDC even though she found they did not have social distancing or regular hand washing. So it is still ours to do.

Rise up and speak out to the powers responsible! Be the voice for children who have none. Don’t let them be forgotten. Don’t let them die in a global pandemic which has already claimed so many lives.

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